These are five of the best web based applications that allow you to create and share presentations online. Using these web based tools, rather than the traditional desktop solutions can have many advantages, for example: you don’t need to install any software, as everything is done online through your web browser; your presentations remain accessible from any computer, ensuring both availability and exposure, as well as removing the need to carry them around on a memory stick; your presentations can be embedded into websites, blogs and wikis; and they can be used by students and teachers to collaborate remotely.
Empressr is a free web based application that allows you to create, manage and share rich media presentations online. You can upload video, images and audio and it allows you to insert charts and tables.
Empressr has a media library that allows you to upload and manage your media assets and features drag and drop, search, filter and keyword support to locate files quickly. You can import images from Flickr, Google, Yahoo and Photobucket. You can also record video and audio such as voice overs or sound tracks.
Plus: Free, intuitive, slide transitions, multimedia and charts.
Minus: Limited effects, non exportable and no templates or themes.
2.- Google Docs
Part of the Google Docs family of web applications, this presentation tool allows you to import PowerPoint or OpenOffice presentations as well as creating new ones from scratch. It also allows you to export your presentations as PowerPoint or .pdf files.
Fairly intuitive to use, it is very basic but robust tool without fancy transitions or effects.
Plus: Simplicity, import/export flexibility, part of Google Docs and ability to add YouTube videos.
Minus: No templates, themes, transitions or effects.
Prezi offers an innovative solution for creating stunning non-linear presentations by zooming into your content instead of the traditional transitional slides. Prezi allows you to import images, videos and flash files but can only export in flash format. You access all the editing functionality via Prezi’s zooming editor, which is a tool cluster, rather than a traditional tool bar.
Prezi has a free basic subscription with premium features.
Plus: Innovative and eye catching.
Minus: Limited export options and fiddly editing.
SlideRocket is a web based solution that allows you to create presentations using slide transitions, object effects, themes and layouts, shapes, charts, tables, images, audio and video. You can also integrate content from free web resources like YouTube and Flickr and pull data from sources like Google Spreadsheets.
SlideRocket also allows you to import existing PowerPoint files which you can then continue to edit and share online. File export to PowerPoint is also supported.
SlideRocket is free with premium features.
Plus: Themes, lay outs, transitions, effects, multimedia, import/export flexibility, feature-packed basic subscription.
Minus: Useful collaborative tool only available with monthly subscription.
5.- Zoho Show
Zoho Show is part of the Zoho family of productivity and collaboration tools, similar to Google Docs (above). Zoho also allows you to create presentations from scratch, using themes and lay outs, or upload existing ones from your desktop or the internet. Media handling, however is limited, with only images allowed (you can embed videos using HTML code).
Zoho Show also allows you to export your slide shows into a variety of formats, including HTML, PowerPoint and .pdf.
Plus: Import/export flexibility, themes and lay outs.
Minus: Clunky interface, no audio, transitions or effects.
You can, of course, opt to create your presentations using a desktop application such as PowerPoint, Keynote or OpenOffice, and then publish and share them using web services such as Slideshare, but I hope to have made a good case in favour of web based presentation tools as a credible alternative to desktop solutions, particularly given that these online tools require no software installation, which is very appealing in terms of accessibility.
Can you recommend any other web based presentation tools? What do you think?